Pavers are an amazing way to modernise the look of your property while offering a sturdy, reliable surface. When installing pavers, you’ll need a variety of tools and materials, with sand being one of the most important on the list. Sand is what keeps the pavers together and acts as a foundational piece, making it crucial to select the right sand type for this purpose.
Sand is what cushions the pavers (which contractors refer to as the “bedding”) and binds them together to inhibit weed growth. These two functions require different sand times and is what confuses homeowners most of the time. If you’re unsure about which sand type to use for the bedding and fill joints, don’t worry. Today we’ll take a look at the different types of sand that works best for cushioning and protecting pavers.
Common sand types used for pavers
By now you’re aware that stone pavers are laid on top of a sand layer. An ideal sand for this purpose would be a coarse and granular one so that it doesn’t move or erode when compacted. This is because the edges grind together and locks the layer of sand in place, thus eliminating any chances of movement or shifting. Usually, contractors use concrete sand because of its granular texture, but mason sand works just fine too.
While these sand types are perfect for cushioning pavers, they don’t work well as joint fillers. When exposed to heavy rains, granular sand will wash away over time. For this reason, polymeric sand is used because it retains its form and keeps everything stable.
Another sand type used for joint filling is kiln dry sand. Kiln dry sand is very fine and contains no moisture, making it perfect for filling in the joints between paving slabs. It keeps the structure of the paving rigid and strong by stopping water ingress and prevent moving or shifting.
Properties and benefits of polymeric sand
Polymeric sand is a combination of fine sands added with polymer, hence the name. When soaked with water, polymeric sand transforms into a very strong binding agent that locks down the sand particles. This works great for filling in paver joints to help preserve its beauty and integrity.
A water-activated polymer is applied to the sand and laid down onto the paver joints. From there it is sprayed with water, causing the polymers to harden. This is what secures the sand in place and holds the joints together. Because polymeric sand is so durable, you can power wash it without having to worry about it being dislodged.
Polymeric sand can withstand extreme weather conditions and is highly resistant to erosion. Aside from holding the paver joints, polymeric sand also prevents water from seeping through it. This significantly reduces the risk of cracking and shifting from your pavers. You don’t have to worry about the base sand layer washing away because the water itself cannot penetrate polymeric sand.
Choosing the right polymeric sand
When selecting a sand type for interlocking joints, you have two options; polymeric sand and polymeric dust. The main difference between the two is that polymeric dust can fill in paver joints up to 6” wide, giving you more room for flexibility in terms of locking down irregularly shaped flagstones or other natural stones. Polymeric dust also shares the same characteristics with polymeric dust, meaning it can withstand erosion and extreme conditions.
These tips will help you choose the right sand type for your next paving project. Use kiln dry sand for cushioning the pavers and use polymeric sand for filling in joints to get the best results possible. If you’re looking for sand delivery in Perth then feel free to contact us at Soil Yourself for the best prices and the best service.